I know! It’s World Gin Day! How exciting is that?
I discovered World Gin Day – now in its fifth year – last year and it’s definitely my favourite of the mildly silly ‘World [something] Day’ set. Most of these days are absolutely pointless, but a day dedicated to celebrating gin? I don’t think it’s a huge surprise that I am most certainly on board to celebrate that!
So today gin fans around the world will be raising a glass to the world’s most delicious spirit. If you’ve seen their Twitter feed lately you’ll know that more and more people are getting on board and raising a glass – there’s a lot of love for gin out there (we’ll see how many still love it tomorrow morning). This year there are events running up and down the country (although sadly only two in Edinburgh, neither of which I can attend – might just have to set up my own next year), and all this to celebrate a shared passion for good gin. Seriously, what’s not to love?
I thought long and hard about what I could do to celebrate – apart from having a G&T or three later, that’s a given – and realised that there was an obvious choice. What better way is there to celebrate than by having cake?
So as I sit here in a sunlit window there is a glorious smell of cake wafting through the flat. I may have been far too productive for a Saturday morning, but since the result certainly smells good, I think I’ll survive. This brings me nicely on to fog horns. I was doing a little research online last weekend into different gin-based cocktails which I could transform into cake for this month’s Baking with Spirit challenge (hosted by the lovely Janine at Cake of the Week) – the challenge being cocktails, this time around – and came across quite an apt one. The fog horn.
The original cocktail recipe – gin, lime juice and ginger ale – sounded pretty damn delicious, but it also struck a bit of a chord with me as ‘fog horn’ has been an on-off unofficial nickname that several groups of my friends and colleagues have given me over the years. Obviously I have absolutely no idea why my dulcet, hushed tones have earned me the dubious honour of such a title – I personally believe I am as quiet as a mouse. If that mouse was rather larger than usual, and substantially louder.
OK, so I struggle with the ‘quiet’ concept, but I certainly didn’t struggle to adapt this cocktail into an edible form. I substituted the ginger ale for plain ginger (no one likes a soggy cake), used lime zest to boost the flavour and threw in as much gin as I thought the mixture could reasonably take – and so the Fog Horn Mini Loaf Cake was born.
It was a bit of an experiment, and next time (because there is no way that this will be a one-use recipe) I might use a bit more lime, but on the whole I would say that the loaflettes (totally a word) turned out deliciously well. You should definitely try them. I was a little sceptical about gin in a cake, but I’m pleased to have proved myself wrong – there’s no stopping me now!
Fog Horn Mini Loaf Cakes
This recipe was an original (and successful) experiment by The Usual Saucepans, any resemblance to other recipes is purely coincidental. It’s a simple cake recipe, with the new ingredients added on the side. Don’t worry about gin not working in it, most of the bitter alcohol gets cooked off, leaving just that beautiful flavour. I used Bombay Sapphire in mine, but you can use whatever gin you have handy. It will make about four mini loaves, to make more simply scale up the quantities.
2 large eggs
130g self raising flour
130g caster sugar
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth, then sieve in the flour. Grate in the ginger and zest in the lime; squeeze in the juice and pour in the gin. Mix thoroughly.
Crack in the eggs (preferably showing off to yourself and doing it one-handed, although this won’t change the taste) one by one and stir them in to the mix. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until it becomes smooth and lightens – the lighter the colour, the lighter the sponge will be.
Spoon the mixture into mini loaf cases and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch and golden brown on top. They can be eaten warm, or cool on a wire rack.